Diabetic Retinopathy is a major cause of new blindness in the U.S. it is of concern that patients do not have a better understanding of diabetic eye disease and its risk factors. A recent study exploring patients’ understanding of the risk factors, cause and controllability of their own Diabetic Retinopathy revealed considerable misunderstanding, gaps in knowledge and potentially damaging beliefs about the cause and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic Retinopathy Patient Understanding Study
Focus groups and interviews were conducted with 57 patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR), nearly half of whom had severe proliferative DR-a serious complication. Most of these patients had also undergone laser treatment. At the conclusion of the study, patients were found to have had a reasonable understanding of the basic risk factors for DR, such as diabetes control, but they were less clear about specific risk factors such as blood pressure and lipid control. Most patients attributed their DR either to poor diabetes control or to failings of the health care system, rather than having a basic understanding of the small blood vessel disease including circulatory and oxygen deprivation that results from the damaged blood vessels in the retina. Some patients believed that their DR was a result of health aspects beyond their control or environmental factors, whereas others were unsure about the cause.
Improving patients' understanding of the major risk factors for DR as well as helping them have a better understanding of the causes of diabetic retinopathy and being able to grasp expectations of realistic outcomes of laser treatment may improve patients' coping mechanisms, adaption to disease and ocular outcomes.
If you or someone you know has questions about Diabetic Retinopathy or needs an eye exam for diabetic Eye Disease, please feel free to call Seeta Eye Centers and schedule an eye examination by calling 845-454-1025 , visiting Seeta Eye Centers or facebook.com/seetaeyecenters.
Seeta Eye Centers is conveniently located at 23 Davis Avenue, Poughkeepsie, New York 12603, Cecilwood Health Center, 969 Main Street, Fishkill, New York 12524 and 664 Stoneleigh Avenue, Suite 100, Carmel, New York 10512 for patients from Westchester County, Rockland County and throughout the Hudson Valley, Dutchess County and Orange County.